There is nothing like finding evidence of your own inadequacy. Some people probably have to root around way harder than I do. For me, it’s a pretty accessible kind of thing. You know, like open your eyes and “Hey, I’m still Me!” Being me isn’t really all that bad – I mean, I’ve had some practice. The hard part is realizing that inside this mature body is the psyche of the kid I once was. Needy. Geeky. Home on Friday nights.
Happy New Year. If 2009 is like all the rest, I’ll be in need of more drugs and therapy before we’ve hit Valentine’s Day.
I mean, you have to be a life-long resident of the English Major Geek Villa that sonnet titles come to mind before anything else when pondering a title for a blog.
The only thing that manages to keep my patina on normalcy is my association with others who aren’t quite as far gone as myself.
So, I need them. I need you. Why? Well, let me list some of the ways in which I find myself in need…..
- I read the entire Webster’s Dictionary over a summer break during my early, more formative years. While this is bang-up handy for crossword puzzling and Scrabble-fests, it clearly set in stone my relationship with boys. When you are a dork, only other dorks like you. So, you are pretty much never going to receive a phone call, because they are too scared to use the phone as well.
- I am 40 years old. This means I grew up during a time when “Daisy Dukes” were invented, but also during a time when such items appeared in people’s wardrobes such as “leisure track suits”, velour, wearing athletic shorts over sweatpants, feathered bangs, and eye makeup came in a palette named “whipped sky diamonds.” You can only incur so many fashion damage points before some long-term damage is done to your psyche. I mean, I coveted San Francisco Riding Gear painter pants, for god’s sake.
- To continue this theme, do you remember the first time you saw a pair of leg warmers? Socks with toes? A tube top? Halter tops with an orange flower print that went with your favorite wide wale corduroy culottes? There is just no way to overcome the damage done when every photo taken of you during your “ugly” stage is exacerbated by the hideous outfit you are wearing. You can’t really hide very well in an orange plaid shirt. Especially when it clashes with your orange and brown checked skirt.
- My first pair of glasses still have the power to make me shudder. First off, my dad took me to pick them out. Big mistake. Secondly, it was 1973. The options were, well, what you would expect from the 70s. So, I came home sporting big ole round green spectacles that made me look like a combination of owl and screaming nerd. I’m still pissed off over this.
- Since I was in elementary school in the 70s, I did get to make a shoe box to watch the total solar eclipse. However, it also meant that we didn’t get cool acronyms to describe ourselves. We weren’t TAG and ADHD. We were just dorks that couldn’t sit still. Damn. No pull out classes where we got to build the White House out of toothpicks. No neato little pills. Nope, we just got to read “See Dick and Jane” from the corner seat – again.
- Have you ever seen the movie, Shrek? Know how the donkey asks to be picked while jumping up and down? Let’s just say my laughter then was a wee bit self-conscious. (Did I really look that pathetic? No wonder the kids used me as target practice for their new and improved spit-wad techniques.)
- Back in my days of high school, we had full-sized lockers. I could stand upright in mine. Amazing how dark they are if you get to spend all of second period in one. Not that I would know, personally. Really.
- If you are say, 6 weeks ahead in accounting, your classmates are not impressed. Especially not cute Billy Grassel. Damn, foiled again.
- If you are absent for reading assignment in your English class, but still manage to answer each discussion correctly, you will also no impress your classmates. But they will wrestle each other to the ground to sit by you during the exam.
- If you are one of 6 girls in your entire grade, you may be asked to Prom. It isn’t a given, but the odds are in your favor. ‘Course, it didn’t work out that way, but the math was looking good for a while.
So anyway, I could go on and on. And since my computer will automatically count them, I don’t even have to work hard at this. But it is starting to depress me to actually write down this stuff. This stuff is better down in my toes where it’s nice and safe.
But, this is all just a big ole plea from me to you. Are there any other geeks out there who made it? Did anybody turn cool, or is that just a fantasy of mine ranking right up there with thin thighs and cleavage that is deep and not just wide? If you are out there and you actually have evidence that it is possible, let me know, okay?
Just one comment, that’s all I need. One little response letting me know that yes, we geeks do grow up and find a place at the cool lunch table. ‘Cause even my own children think I’m a dork.
Happy New Year folks! May it be a good one for all of us – geeks and everybody else!